I loathe shopping. And when I say loathe I really man I cannot stand it at all. Shopping, to me, is easily one of the most futile and annoying exercises one could ever partake in. I will avoid shopping at all costs and thankfully I have a wife who doesn’t mind getting up, getting out of the house, and making that brave run to any store to pick up anything we need.
But I don’t necessarily hate shopping for the financial reason that most people think. Don’t get me wrong. Shopping to me means spending money and I don’t love spending money on things that aren’t 100% necessary.
So from that financial vantage point, yeah, I don’t love shopping. But the real financial reason I can’t stand shopping? Time.
That time I was furious shopping with my wife
I’ll never forget the time I went shopping with my wife that completely broke me and I finally took a stand about my shopping distaste. We were on what was supposed to be a 10 minute errand. Both kids were with us in the car, and it was supposed to be an in and out situation.
But instead, there I was in the parking lot with my two young boys (at the time, 4 and infant), sitting there for over an hour. I called my wife at least fifty times. Texted her. You name it. I was pissed.
There was nothing left to discuss. I mean I was flat out furious. When she finally got back into the car, I didn’t even want an explanation. I didn’t want to hear it. I just didn’t care. But when we got back home, after a bit of hemming and hawing at each other, I sat my wife down and explained why I was so upset.
Time is our most important commodity
I think many of us have heard the phrase “time is our most important commodity” or some iteration of that phrase. The number one thing that people on their deathbed always say they regret? Not spending enough time with family.
Why? Because time is something you cannot get back. So how you use it is of the utmost importance. So when it came time for me to explain to my wife why I was so pissed at our recent shopping run, time was the subject of our conversation.
During that particular time, work was hectic, important, and top of my priority list. And I explained to my wife that during that hour, hour and a half that we just shopped, I just lost what could have been thousands of dollars. I told her that the time I could have spent working instead of shopping could have meant a huge opportunity wasted.
So not only did I hate shopping for the sake of shopping (being near tons of people, being on line, just dealing with all the annoying shit that comes with shopping), I hated it because shopping was getting in the way of what I thought could be major opportunities in my life.
My wife completely understood me and since that time (which was years ago), I’ve gone grocery shopping maybe 5 times total. With regard to other types of shopping, it’s been minimal. Again, thank God I have a wife that’s understanding of my plight. But that also brings me to something important.
You don’t have to hate shopping – your time is up to you
What I also got out of that conversation with my wife was that despite the fact that I hated shopping, she didn’t mind it at all. In fact, my wife loves shopping. She said it was a great break in her day. That it was a great way to spend time with the kids. That it relaxes her.
While I cannot fathom any of that being even remotely true in my life, I can’t fault her for feeling this way. In fact, I completely encourage it. If shopping is a way to mentally better yourself and it truly has positive effects in your life, I’m all for it.
Therefore, shopping is an excellent use of time for some people. For the life of me, I cannot understand why, but that’s their business and who am I to step in the way?
It’s all about being better, and getting better
The use of time comes down to one question. Was that use of time worth it? And let’s expand on that. Did that time serve a meaningful purpose in your life? What is meaningful to you is entirely subjective and individual in nature, but that’s not the point.
The point is that when you do use your time, it’s got to have a purpose, otherwise you are wasting it. Taking a nap has a purpose. Good use of time. Studying for a test has a purpose. Good use of time.
Even watching TV can be a good use of time if its purpose is valuable (taking a break, a need to be distracted or entertained for a brief period of time before getting back to more stressful activity, etc etc). Remember, you don’t have to be shopping grump like me to use your time wisely, you just have to figure out for yourself how you want to use that time, and not waste it.